Casualty is the world's longest running and most successful medical drama series on television. It depicts the private and working lives of the patients, doctors, nurses and all others attending a small but frantically busy accident and emergency department of the large Holby General hospital. By mixing episodic plots with longer, character-based stories it ensures that we get to know the characters as people with lives, not just doctors or nurses. With consistently superb storylines and great acting, Casualty is compulsive viewing. The show began in 1986 and since then only one character remains; the one and only Charlie Fairhead played by Derek Thompson.